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Warming Winter soups with Kevin Dundon

Monday, 11 January 2010

Today Kevin will be cooking up some fantastic winter soups to raise your temperature and get you through this cold snap!

Hearty Irish Broth

This is the sort of soup that pleads to be eaten when you are feeling tired and jaded.
Serve it with some warm crusty French bread slathered with butter - delicious! I like to make it in the autumn when plum tomatoes are at their best and in ample supply. The other vegetables are all grown in our kitchen garden.

Serves 4 - 6


. 2 tablespoons olive oil
. 1 onion, chopped
. ½ green cabbage
. 1 leek trimmed and sliced
. 2 potatoes diced
. 8 ripe plum tomatoes
. 120ml/4 fl oz dry white wine
. 1 litre/1 ¾ pints kitchen garden stock or water
. Salt and Pepper
. Fresh flat-leave parsley sprigs to garnish


1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, cabbage, leeks and potatoes, stirring to combine. Cover with a lid and sweat over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.
2. Add the tomatoes to the pan, season to taste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in the wine and allow to reduce by half, then add the stock or water and bring to the boil. Reduce that heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes until all of the vegetables are completely tender and the liquid has slightly reduced and thickened. Season to taste.

To Serve
Ladle the soup into warmed serving bowls and garnish with the parsley.

Seafood chowder

A bowl of soup must be one of the most welcoming foods known to man.

This seafood chowder always goes down well but particularly when it is bitterly cold outside. It is just so rich and tasty with the most wonderful infusion of shellfish, fresh and smoked fish. The secret of this soup is not to over cook the fish, so bare in mind that everything continues to cook even after it is taken off the heat.


. 25 g/1 oz butter
. 1 small onion, diced
. 1 leek, trimmed and diced
. 1 small carrot, diced
. 1 potato, cubed
. 50 g/2 oz smoked salmon slices, cut into julienne (long thin strips)
. 120 ml/4 fl oz dry white wine
. 450 ml/3/4 pint tarragon scented fish stock (see recipe page 00) or water
. 225 g/8 oz mixed fresh fish fillets, skinned and cut into bite-sized pieces (such as cod, haddock, hake and salmon)
. 175 g/6 oz raw Dublin Bay prawns and mussels, scrubbed clean
. 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
. 175 ml/6fl oz cream
. salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add the butter and once it is foaming, tip in the onion, leek, carrot, potato and smoked salmon. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
2. Pour the wine into the pan and allow to bubble down and reduce by half. Add the fish stock or water and bring to a simmer, then add the fresh fish and shellfish.
3. Return the pan to a simmer and add the parsley and cream, then season to taste.

4. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for another 2-3 minutes until the fish and prawns are tender and all of the mussels have opened, discard any that do not.

To Serve

Ladle the chowder into warmed serving bowls, piling plenty of the fish and shellfish into the centre of each one.

Wild Mushroom Chowder

For a real wow factor serve this soup in a brown soda bread container

Serves 4-6

To make the bread bowl

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and lightly dust the insides of four heatproof serving bowls. Divide one quantity of my brown soda bread into four and drop into the bowls, then bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until well risen and golden brown.
2. Leave to cool, then cut off the tops and scoop out the insides, leaving a layer of bread from the crust before ladling in the soup to serve.


. 2 teaspoons olive oil
. 125 g/4 ½ oz butter, diced
. 150g/5 oz onion, finely chopped
. 1 garlic clove, crushed
. 550g/ 1 ¼ lb forest mushrooms, chopped (such as chantarelle, oyster and shitake)
. 120 ml/4 fl oz white wine
. 900 ml/ 1 ½ pints kitchen garden stock or water
. 150ml/ ¼ pint cream
. Salt and ground pepper


1. Heat a heavy-based pan and add the olive oil and a knob of the butter. Once the butter is foaming, tip in the onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook slowly for 4-5 minutes until tender but not coloured. Take out and reserve some of the mushroom mixture to garnish.
2. Add the wine to the pan and allow to evaporate until reduced by half, then season to taste. Add the vegetable stock or water, stirring to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly reduced and all the flavours have had the chance to infuse.
3. Stir the cream into the pan and leave to simmer for another few minutes, then transfer to a food processor or liquidiser and whiz to a puree.

To Serve

Remove the soup from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Season to taste and ladle into warmed serving bowls, then garnish with the reserved mushrooms.

Kevin Dundon